NEW ORLEANS, LA -- Williams College junior Aidan Ryan (New York, N.Y.) has been selected as the United States Track & Field & Cross Country Coaches Association's National Athlete of the Week for Div. III Men and the New England Small College Athletic Conference's Men's Cross Country Performer of the Week for his performane at the Purple Valley Classic on Saturday, September 28th.
Ryan, a junior from New York, New York, picked up his third consecutive win of the season this past weekend as he cruised to the individual title at the Purple Valley Classic. He covered the 8K tract in 26:07.3, nearly 24 seconds faster than Jacob Davis of RPI, who finished runner-up.
Back on September 7, Ryan opened the season with a victory at the Monmouth University XC Kickoff and followed that up with a win the following week at the Little 3 Cross Country Meet.
"Aidan put together a great summer of training, very much upping his endurance to go with his miling ability, and is super smooth in stride," Ephs' head coach Peter Farwell said. "He is pulling along many of his teammates to improvement and is a natural leader and upbeat presence within the team."
This is the first time that a male athlete from Williams has been named National Athlete of the Week during the cross country season since Bijan Mazaheri took home the honor on October 5, 2015. Ryan is the third male athlete from Williams to earn the honor, joining Mazaheri and Colin Cotton (September 15, 2014).
National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to 10 collegiate cross country athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions and two NJCAA divisions).
Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs. Nominated athletes are noticed before those athletes found through searching TFRRS.
The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.